Selangor Journal
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever, after completing its blood-meal. Image taken in 2006. — Picture by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

10 more localities to release Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to combat dengue

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 15 — A total of 10 new localities for the release of Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes have been proposed to address the dengue issue in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said that it was proposed at today’s meeting of the Cabinet Committee to Combat Dengue, and its implementation would cost RM4 million annually.

Beginning in 2019, he said that the release of mosquitoes had been implemented in 32 localities, involving seven states, with 19 localities showing effectiveness.

“Assessment on effectiveness shows that dengue cases have decreased by 45 per cent to 100 per cent, compared with before the release (of the Wolbachia-infected mosquito),” he said in a statement, which was read out by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zulkefly Ahmad, after the committee meeting, here today.

Ahmad Zahid said that discussions about the locality for mosquito release are being detailed with certain parties, especially the state governments.

“We are in discussions with the state (governments) because we want to (implement) it, especially in Selangor. We will discuss it more precisely because in the end it will involve the community.”

He said that the Cabinet Committee also proposed the involvement of local authorities (PBT).

In addition, he said that scheduled cooperation activities at the premises of ministries, departments and agencies are made a regular agenda item in the development action committee at the district and state levels.

Large-scale campaigns and gotong-royong, involving government agencies, non-governmental organisations, local leaders and the community, will be implemented this year.

He also said that the government will increase resource capacity through collaboration with government agencies, non-governmental organisations and government-linked companies, including the establishment of a task force to deal with the issue.

A Cabinet Memorandum on measures to combat dengue is to be tabled in two weeks, he added.

Regarding dengue cases in this country, Ahmad Zahid said that a total of 123,133 cases were reported last year, compared with 66,102 cases for the same period in 2022, an increase of 86.3 per cent.

“The number of deaths due to complications from dengue fever was 100 cases reported last year, compared with 56 deaths for the same period in 2022,” he said.

— Bernama

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